This simple photo almost became an issue, Friday night. Walking home after a late dinner from my (current) favorite local restaurant, I saw the red & blues all lit up and swooping of to the left – Well, what does an inquisitive (or stupid) person do?

I followed…

Upon arrival at the ‘scene,’ it turned out to be a college party that, moments before, was a little loud for the neighborhood. Yeah, people were scattering like, like, like – well, young adults were scattering.

In an attempt to capture the feeling at the time, I started to take photos – but with 5% of battery power in my phone it yielded this one and no audio that I had hoped to record. Upon my further approaching the location and asking, “What’s going on…’  I was met with:

WHO ARE YOU?

I’m a member of the media.

WHY ARE YOU TAKING PHOTOS OF THE VEHICLE?

It’s a police vehicle parked and we don’t have a good file photo at the station – what’s going on here?

Party was loud, neighbors called, we’re here. Who are you?

(Very, very tense here now)

The guy that’s speaking with Chief Crawford Wednesday about Community Policing. Is this Community Policing?

WHO ARE YOU?

Chris Griffin and as I understand it, Chief Crawford is to join me Wednesday morning for our continuing discussion on Community Policing. What does it matter if I take photos of your vehicle anyway?

(NO OFFICER OR OTHER NAMES WILL BE USED)

Male officer: Well, well…

Female officer: How can I answer your questions? You are..??

(I made the point that, as police officers they have badge, gun, stun gun and project State authority and it’s not necessarily needed for a loud house party – Police are designed to be intimidating)

This circular gymnastically insane logic continued until the phrase, ‘I’m speaking with Chief Crawford regarding Community Policing’ was uttered a few more times. I’m not a name dropper but…

I came late to this interaction, questioned by Bozeman Police for taking a photo of their vehicle, all while trying to understand the situation. Is this Community Policing?

POLICE LEAVE

I stayed to speak with the hosts of the party. To cut to the very quick; it was a beer blast. To the best of my knowledge, no one was underage, driving or doing anything illegal. OK, it MAY have been LOUD on a Friday night (10:45pm) – I’m loud on Sunday mornings at 7am.

Call the Constables, put me in the stockades!

I would ask you, fellow residents of Bozeman, to not view these indiscretions of youth as ‘annoyances’ that are to be relegated to law enforcement – but to please embrace them – REexperience your Homecoming weekend WITH THEM!